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United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney and Ontario Premier Doug Ford cheer with supporters at an anti-carbon tax rally in Calgary, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntoshJeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says Albertans need to elect Jason Kenney as their next premier in May and create a coalition of provinces united from the Rocky Mountains to the St-Lawrence River in opposition to the federal government’s carbon tax.

At an anti-carbon tax rally in downtown Calgary Friday evening, Ontario’s rookie Progressive Conservative Premier told a standing room only crowd that momentum is growing against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to put a price on pollution by the end of this year. He said Mr. Kenney’s election would solidify opposition against Ottawa.

“Moving forward we will defeat the NDP and we will bring common sense back to Alberta,” said Mr. Ford, who echoed many of his speaking notes from his own election earlier this year where he defeated former Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne.

“Justin Trudeau, my message to you is very clear, you either support jobs, families and the hard working people of Canada or you support a carbon tax, but I’ll tell you, you can’t sit on the fence,” continued the Premier.

Mr. Ford also celebrated Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister’s announcement on Wednesday that his province was cancelling a planned carbon tax and joining efforts to stop the federal plan in court. Mr. Kenney, Alberta’s United Conservative Leader has vowed to be part of a court challenge mounted by Saskatchewan and joined by Ontario to challenge the constitutionality of the federal plan.

“Governments in Edmonton and Ottawa are stacking the deck against Albertans,” said Mr. Kenney, who promised to call a special session of the legislature to repeal the carbon tax in his first act as premier. The conservative leader criticized Alberta Premier Rachel Notley for introducing a carbon tax after her election, despite not campaigning explicitly on the tax.

“It isn’t just the biggest tax hike in Alberta history, it’s the biggest lie in Alberta history,” he said. There was laughter in the room when Mr. Kenney said that the carbon tax was supposed to help build a pipeline to the B.C. coast.

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Supporters wave signs during an anti-carbon tax rally in Calgary, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntoshJeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

For many of Mr. Kenney’s supporters, who brandished signs decrying the carbon tax, the rally served as what they hope will be a dress rehearsal for the conservative leader’s campaign next spring. A number of people in the sprawling room, which Mr. Kenney said was at capacity with more than 1,500 people sitting and standing, wore red Make America Great Again hats.

Pat Farn said she supports Mr. Kenney and his campaign to end Alberta’s carbon tax. “I think it’s an unfair tax. I look at Ontario and what happened with Hydro rates there, we’re pensioners and I don’t know how we could ever afford that,” she said.

Sitting nearby, retired farmer Don Hinz waited with a Make American Great Again cap on his knee after he was told by event organizers to take it off. “The carbon tax, it’s a killer. The good lord controls the sun, it’s just a complete cash grab,” he said.

Neither Ms. Farn or Mr. Hinz expect Ms. Notley’s New Democrats, who rose from being a minor party to government nearly four years ago, to hold onto power in 2019. “Alberta is too right-minded for her to win again,” said Mr. Hinz.

The federal government’s climate plan requires province to set a carbon tax of $10 per tonne by the end of 2018 and increase it by $10 annually until 2022, when the tax will be $50 per tonne. The federal government has said it will impose an equivalent tax on any province that does not come forward with its own plan.

Manitoba had planned to introduce a $25-per-tonne tax starting in December. However, Mr. Pallister said he was backing down from the plan after Ottawa had insisted on eventually requiring the province to levy a higher tax.

The rally in Calgary comes after a difficult week for Ms. Notley. Alberta’s Premier who was on the defensive after the federal government decided to let stand a court decision stalling the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. At the same time, neighbouring British Columbia announced that it was moving forward with a $40-billion facility to export liquefied natural gas from its coast.

Related: The path for pipelines: How B.C. is embracing one, fighting another

“I think Albertans can be forgiven for being extremely frustrated with the way the federation is working right now because there is a high level of jaw-dropping hypocrisy,” Ms. Notley told reporters on Wednesday.

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